London Indymedia

Congratulations to Laura Peek, Times reporter!!!

maria. v | 20.11.2003 16:03 | Bush 2003 | Analysis | Indymedia | Repression | Social Struggles | London

Congratulations to Laura Peek, reporter to The Times, who managed to infiltrate an open training on non-violent direct action and win a frontpage article. The "hardcore of the protest movement", as well as Indymedia London is happy that Laura survived her adventure "at the headquarters of an organisation calling itself Larc" and lived to tell this tale of stunning investigative journalism to the British public. We also congratulate her on the millions of pounds her article will generate for the honorable mister Rupert Murdoch - defender of the common man and self-styled anti-establishment representative.

==++=STOPPRESS++=see also STOPPRESS article somewhere up in the newswire++++====

"How I infiltrated hard core of the protest movement" is a piercing expose of a training organised by the Legal Defense and Monitoring Group in preparation of the non-violent direct actions that took place yesterday in London city. Laura Peek, a stunning twentysomething yearold, participated as an undercover observer in this "three-hour crash course in the art of protest".

Laura handsomely managed to forego all contextualisation and presented the public with an impressively one-sided, shallow and -let's not forget- sensationalist account of how "so-called crusties", "a former Greenham Common pensioner", "members of the "Palestinian-led [!!!-ed.] International Solidarity Movement, wearing KEFFIYEH [!!!!!!-ed.]" and "even a pretty young Sloane" prepared themselves for the 14,000 shift-strong police reaction to their non-violent antics in front of Buckingham Palace.

Discussions on "how to charge police lines", "how to dodge a water cannon" and "how to make sure that pepper spray does not bring tears to your eyes", as well as statements such as "The press are scum" brought out an interesting new perspective on the organising tactics of these "veterants of multiple arrests", "using first names only".

Understandably, Laura did not mention the reason why the people present were protesting the president's visit nor the deservedly notorious reputation of London police repression that might warrant this training. As Laura later said herself, in an exclusive interview with Indymedia London [see below-ed.]: "Inevitably, you cannot report every single word of what was said in three hours". Especially not on the frontpage of a major corporate newspaper, we agree.

To be fair, we -experienced journalists ourselves- would like Laura to know that in the future, she should not trouble herself by ommitting words such as "terrorists", "dangerous anarchists" and "ringleaders". [Oh, sorry, she did use the latter, we apologise!-ed]. We think the public should be told things as they are. A visit as important as that of "The Leader of the Free World" should not be troubled by fair and balanced reporting. It is the public's right to know!

Indymedia London and members of ["a faction calling itself"-ed.] ResistBush! were happily surprised to run into Laura during Wednesday's demonstrations. Considering her carefully disguised infiltration participation, the faction had ample hopes it would have the opportunity to express its strong feelings on her article to the famed author in person. In an unexpected twist of events, Indymedia London managed to pull a little infiltration of their own and document the whole encounter on video [available when find time-ed.]. In the true tradition of corporate mainstream reporting (of which Laura herself is an exemplary example, we salute!) we will present some of her words, completely decontexualised:

"I didn't say anything that wasn't discussed at the meeting."
"You were doing your job and I was doing mine."
"I think it informed [our readers] of what went on that night."
"It was a fair representation of what went on."
"That's not my decision."
"There was no opinion in the piece at all."
"To be fair I could walk away and not continue..."
"To be honest, I don't understand why you exclude press."
"It's easy to be kind of paranoid about it."
"I believe that everything I wrote was accurate."
"I stand by everything I wrote."
"Do write to the Times and get your views in the paper."

Well done, Laura!

maria. v


Display the following 8 comments

  1. Rush to but The Times? — Furat Al-Samaraie
  2. to commenter.... — justagirl
  3. A publication "calling itself a newspaper." — Verity Sparks
  4. my take on it all — hold the frontpage i've got an explosive exclusive! :-)
  5. WHAT I THINK OF LAURA... — mostafa
  6. ... and proud of it! — RB individuals
  7. the original article — postie
  8. Balenced and responsible?! — G. Hillman


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